Providing First Aid on a California worksite
When conducting a physical site inspection, it is common for The Cohen Group to examine first aid kits as well as inquire about medical services. The requirement for first aid can be found in 8CCR3400, which states that the employer must ensure “ready availability of medical personnel for advice and consultation on matters of industrial health or injury.” But, what is “ready availability”? Cal/OSHA recognizes that these services can be provided by a hospital or clinic in proximity to the workplace. There have been Appeals Board decisions regarding this issue and whether the medical facility is in “proximity” which seems to be interpreted by the Board as in several minutes. Further, if not on site, how will the employee be taken to the medical facility? There is no requirement for the employer to have first aid trained individuals on site unless these medical facilities are not close. Obviously, it is up to the employer to decide if they want to have first aid trained personnel on site if the medical facility is close by. But, who should be on first aid team? It would be incumbent on the employer who has decided to have a first aid team to decide whether the team is composed of individuals whose job it is to render aid or should it be composed of volunteers. If the former, than the individuals need to understand that it is their job to render first aid. If the latter, than the volunteers should have a willingness to render first aid.